Govt’ to dismantle the ‘comfort women’ foundation
Nov. 27, 2018
Global Korean Post
By Park Gil-ja and Hahm Hee-eun
The government officially announced on Nov. 21 that it will carry out a legal process to dismantle the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation.
Minister of Gender Equality and Family Jin Sun Mee explained that the government’s decision follows the victim-centered principle. The minister said, “Taking this opportunity, we will try our best in setting up policies to recover the honor and dignity of the victims.”
Regarding the criticisms of the Japanese government, the ministry said, “The foreign ministry will be consulting with the Japanese government to take diplomatic measures.”
The Reconciliation and Healing Foundation was established during the Park Geun-hye administration in December 2015. The former administration and the Japanese government signed an agreement on the “comfort women” issue, and Japan contributed JPY 1 billion for the foundation. However, the agreement has been continuously criticized for ignoring the consent of the victims of sexual slavery. Also, the financial contribution was regarded as a humanitarian fund rather than as official compensation that requires an admission of responsibility by the Japanese government.
The term, “Comfort Women” refers to the victims of sexual slavery during World War II. Those who were forced into sexual slavery were not only restricted to Koreans but also included young girls from the Philippines, the Netherlands, China and Taiwan. Hitherto, the victims of sexual slavery have consistently filed several lawsuits, demading an official apology and legal compensation from the Japanese government. Japan’s avoidance of its responsibility for inhumane sexual crimes during the colonial period (1910-1945) has been unceasingly criticized by international organizations and communities, including the U.N.